Donald Trump says he expects Japan's military to reinforce United States in 'Asia and beyond'

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, who accompanied Trump on the visit to the Kaga, has boosted defense spending since taking office in December 2012.

Reuters May 28, 2019 20:35:43 IST
Donald Trump says he expects Japan's military to reinforce United States in 'Asia and beyond'
  • Donald Trump’s comments followed his inspection of the Kaga, Japan’s largest warship

  • Japan last year unveiled a plan to buy 45 more F-35 stealth fighters, including some B variants, worth about $4 billion

  • Japan says it eventually wants to field a force of around 150 of the advanced fighter jets

Tokyo: US president Donald Trump expects that Japan’s military will reinforce US forces throughout Asia and elsewhere, he said on Tuesday, as the key US ally upgrades the ability of its forces to operate further from its shores. Trump’s comments followed his inspection of Japan’s largest warship, the Kaga, a helicopter carrier designed to carry submarine-hunting helicopters to distant waters.

Donald Trump says he expects Japans military to reinforce United States in Asia and beyond

Donald Trump is on a four-day visit to Japan to meet Shinzo Abe. AP

The vessel, which will soon be upgraded to handle F-35B short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) jets, sailed to India on a flag-flying mission last year, going through the contested South China Sea, much of which is claimed by Beijing. “With this extraordinary new equipment the Kaga will help our nations defend against a range of complex threats in the region and far beyond,” Trump said in a speech on the ship’s hangar deck.

The refit of the vessel, and its sister ship, the Izumo, is expected to bolster US forces operating from Japan by providing a refueling platform for U.S. Marine F-35Bs. Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, who accompanied Trump on the visit to the Kaga, has boosted defense spending since taking office in December 2012, stretching the pacifist constitution to ease limits on troop activities abroad.

He also wants to revise the post-World War II charter to recognize the existence of Japan’s military. The Kaga and the Izumo are the biggest aircraft carriers Japan has operated since its wartime defeat, but its Self Defence Forces designate them as destroyers, as constitutional curbs forbid possession of weapons that could be used to attack other countries. Trump is winding up a four-day State visit meant to underscore the US-Japan alliance, but shadowed by friction over Tokyo’s big trade surplus with America.

On Monday he told a news conference that Washington supported Japan’s efforts to improve its defense capability and touted Tokyo’s purchases of American military equipment. Japan last year unveiled a plan to buy 45 more F-35 stealth fighters, including some B variants, worth about $4 billion, adding to the 42 jets it has already ordered. Japan says it eventually wants to field a force of around 150 of the advanced fighter jets, as it tries to keep ahead of China’s advances in military technology.

“This purchase would give Japan the largest fleet of F-35s of any of our allies,” Trump said on the Kaga, docked at the Yokosuka naval base near Tokyo. The base is the headquarters of the Japanese fleet and also the home port of the US Seventh Fleet.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Xiaomi and 8 other Chinese companies blacklisted by the US over alleged military links
News & Analysis

Xiaomi and 8 other Chinese companies blacklisted by the US over alleged military links

US investors will have to divest their stakes in Chinese companies on the military list by November this year.

US ends decades-old restrictions on official contacts with Taiwan, says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
World

US ends decades-old restrictions on official contacts with Taiwan, says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

This decision, coming in the final weeks of the Donald Trump administration, is certain to anger China. Beijing has been stepping up its threats to bring the self-governing island under its control by military force

Capitol violence: Donald Trump supporter in horned fur hat charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct
World

Capitol violence: Donald Trump supporter in horned fur hat charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct

Chansley describes himself as a "digital soldier" of the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory that claims Trump is waging a secret war against a global liberal cult of Satan-worshipping pedophiles.